Commercial vehicle parking - Rules and tips

March 30, 2022

Whether you're driving a van for the first time or you’ve been driving a van for a number of years, you may not be aware that there are a few different rules and regulations you should abide by when parking commercial vehicles in residential areas.

Sections:

Residential street parking laws UK: Cars and small vans

Rules for parking at night: any vehicle up to 2.5 tonnes

Rules for parking at night: vans exceeding 2.5 tonnes

FAQs

What size vehicle can you park on a residential street?

What is classed as a commercial vehicle?

Does where I park my van affect my van insurance?

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Residential street parking laws UK: Cars and small vans

Most of the basic parking regulations and rules that apply to parking a car in a residential street, day or night, similarly apply to van parking.

You are permitted to park your car or van:

  • in off-street parking areas
  • in parking bays specifically marked out with white lines unless they’re allocated spaces (i.e. for permit holders only)
  • on the side of the road facing the same direction as the traffic as long as it’s safe to do so and doesn’t block, obstruct or endanger other traffic, road users or pedestrians.

You are not allowed to park your car or van:

  • on double yellow lines at any time or single yellow lines during the times specified on nearby signs
  • on pedestrian crossings, on school entrance road markings, taxi bays, cycle lanes or anywhere else you could cause problems for other road users
  • in parking spaces specifically marked as being reserved for certain road users such as disabled, motorcycle, residential or customer parking spaces

So where should you park your vehicle at night and are there different rules for vans?

Rules for parking at night: any vehicle up to 2.5 tonnes

Unless you’re parking in a pre-marked parking space, when parking any vehicle on a road at night you have to face the direction of the traffic.

When parking at night on a road with a speed limit higher than 30mph you must also have your parking lights on at all times.

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Rules for parking at night: vans exceeding 2.5 tonnes

And if your van’s maximum laden weight exceeds 2,500kg, then you must display your van’s parking lights at all times wherever you park and regardless of the road’s speed restrictions.

See our FAQs section to find out more about vehicle size and weight parking restrictions.

FAQs

What size vehicle can you park on a residential street?

As long as you abide by the laws and regulations concerning parking, either as stipulated above or as set out in more detail on the gov.uk’s website, you can legally park a van on a road weighing up to 7.5 tonnes.

All Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) weighing 7.5 tonnes or more MUST NOT park on any verge, pavement or land between carriageways without prior permission from the police.

The only exception to this rule is when a HGV needs to park for loading or unloading - when this is the case, a person must stay with the HGV at all times. However, you must abide by any local parking restrictions displayed on any nearby signs and of course continue to avoid parking on double yellow lines.

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What is classed as a commercial vehicle?

What’s classed as a commercial vehicle is defined by HMRC for tax purposes.

HMRC’s definition of a commercial vehicle is that it:

  • weighs 3.5 tonnes or more
  • is able to haul at least 1 tonne of cargo
  • is used for business purposes
  • can include lorries, vans, tractors, pickup trucks and “car-derived vans” (CDVs)*

A CDV is a ‘derivative’ of a car type passenger vehicle that has been specially constructed or adapted in such a way to carry goods not exceeding 2 tonnes in weight.

Does where I park my van affect my van insurance?

Yes, it can. If you park your work’s van near or at your own home overnight you should check with your insurer if you’re covered. If you park a commercial vehicle such as a work’s van in a high crime rate residential area and on a public road, then this will typically increase your van insurance premiums.

Read: A guide to improving your van’s security

Van insurance

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